Pictures of Wicken
Once upon a time, long before the Romans invaded Britain there were over 2,500 square miles of Fens. Now, the last of the great natural fenland in East Anglia is to be found beside the village of Wicken, where in total it covers little more 600 acres of peaty, water-logged ground. Apart from being the last of the fens, it is also England's oldest nature reserve.
Wicken Fen provides a wealth of interest for both experienced and budding naturalists, it is a treasureland of sedges, reeds and many other marsh plants, with many thousands of insects and birds, all of which has been cared for by the National Trust which has maintained the fen since the end of the 19th-century. The draining of the fens can be traced back to the 13th-century and from the surrounding peatland, Wicken stands out like an island. Water levels are kept high by the use of a windpump activating in the reverse for which it was intended-draining the land. Nature trails wander around the reserve and there are hides for watching the birds.
The Fen Cottage and Garden at 5, Lode Lane, Wicken, shows a 'real life' portrayal of what life was like in the area during the 1930's when it was lived in by mother and son, Reggie and Alice Butcher. Made of traditional local materials, this lovely old building has a lean-to kitchen and is surrounded by a delightful cottage-style garden. Interestingly, the Butchers lived at the cottage from 1924 to 1972.
Situated at the end of Lode Lane, the village has scattered houses set around village greens. Spinney Abbey, the home of Henry, the fourth son of Oliver Cromwell is close-by and in Wicken itself there is a lovely old church, a pub and a farm shop.
The open countryside surrounding Wicken is rich and varied, windmills can be seen along with pretty cottages, ancient farmhouses and historic churches. Teeming with wildlife, Wicken makes an ideal place for a lovely family day out, and if you want to enjoy a little more of the area, why not visit Anglesey House at Lode, close to the River Cam.
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